Have you ever thought about how much damage we do to our hearing when we perform to loud music? It’s easy to forget, when jamming along with the rest of the band, but our hearing is at stake every time we crank up the decibels. In fact, many well-known musicians such as Sting, Phil Collins, Eric Clapton, and Ozzy Osbourne, suffer some form of severe hearing loss, and prolonged exposure to loud music is to blame. Had they switched to the "silent stage" before they'd damaged their hearing, they'd be able to perform the same but without risk to their health.
According to this recent study, musicians are almost four times as likely to deal with noise-induced hearing loss compared to non-musicians. Also, musicians are 57 percent more likely to get tinnitus - known as ringing in the ears, a condition for which there is no cure. Unfortunately, Chris Martin of Cold Play has been dealing with tinnitus for years.
Listening to any sound level above 85 decibels (dB) for extended periods of time puts you at risk for irreversible hearing damage. Sure it’s easier to play and vibe when the music is loud, but going deaf probably isn’t on anyone’s bucket list. If you haven’t already, get yourself a pair of custom or universal in-ear monitors. Instead of blaring stage wedges, use in-ears to get a lower, clearer personal mix delivered right to your ears. With proper care and usage, in-ears can prevent you from joining the growing list of musicians with hearing loss. It all comes down to isolation. If you can limit the dB going into your ears by isolating yourself from the audience mix, you can play your own personal mix at a much quieter level. This massively reduces your risk of hearing loss as well as reducing ear fatigue.
Remember, hearing matters.